Adventure Animation

'Sausage Party' Blu-ray Review: R-rated fun with food

November 8, 2016Ben MK

Earlier this year, kids — and perhaps their parents — were treated to a family-friendly, CG-animated romp that showed them the kind of trouble our pets get into when we're not around. Now, it's the adults' turn. An R-rated answer to The Secret Life of Pets, Sausage Party teases a similar premise, only with food instead of four-legged critters. However, what it actually delivers ends up being much more satiating.

The story begins with sausages Frank (Seth Rogen), Carl (Jonah Hill) and Barry (Michael Cera), who are just three of the many food items that fill the countless aisles of Shopwell's supermarket, where the food begin every morning by breaking into joyful song. Oblivious to the fact that they are predestined for human consumption, they've been indoctrinated to believe that life beyond the store's shelves is where their wildest and wettest fantasies come true. And for Frank, that fantasy is to finally be inside his girlfriend, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a hot dog bun.

Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, what follows is oftentimes rude, crude and vulgar, where every other word out of the characters' mouths seems like an obscenity, and where there's no shortage of toilet humor, racial stereotypes and jokes about culinary fornication. However, there's also plenty of thought-provoking subtext and surprisingly deep themes lurking in the script by Rogen and co-writers Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir and Evan Goldberg, and you need not look far beyond the film's colorfully offensive facade to find it.

Of course, you don't have to invest a ton of brain power into Sausage Party to be amused by its laugh-out-loud, subversive tone. Taken at face value, the movie is a literal orgy of food-and-sex-related puns, backed by a cast of comedy titans like Bill Hader, Nick Kroll and Craig Robinson. They voice their over-the-top characters with such gusto that every Pixar movie suddenly feels surprisingly dull. And in the end, everyone emerges a wiener.

Sausage Party lands on Blu-ray three months after its North America theatrical release; and like most computer-animated features, the direct-from-digital Blu-ray transfer is gorgeous. Image quality is razor sharp, black levels are flawless, and aside from the intentionally desaturated color palette used for scenes set in "the human perspective," hues are vibrant and varied, whether it's honey mustard yellow, ketchup red or chewing gum pink. The disc sports a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix, and while the majority of the film is dialogue-driven, there are a few notable scenes where the sound design shines, such as in the opening musical number and in the chaotic finale, which is dominated by such sounds as shopping carts being overturned and heads exploding.

Sony's single-disc Blu-ray release includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Good Food Gag Reel (7:29) - Outtakes from the audio recording booth.
  • Shock and Awe: How Did This Get Made? (5:11) - The filmmakers talk about the challenges they encountered in getting Sausage Party made.
  • The Booth (9:28) - A piece about the voice cast, in particular Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Nick Kroll, Jonah Hill and James Franco.
  • Line-O-Rama (4:57) - The cast improvise their lines.
  • The Great Beyond (4:01) - A piece about the movie's opening musical number by Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertz.
  • The Pitch (2:33) - Filmed on the Sony studios backlot during the production of Superbad, this archival clip has Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg name-dropping Sausage Party as part of their discussion about "the art of the pitch."
  • Seth Rogen's Animation Imaginatorium (1:05) - Seth Rogen spoofs Walt Disney and promotes Sausage Party.

Sausage Party is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of November 8th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 29 Mins.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on August 12th, 2016.

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